It’s always Bill to blame

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The winner of a political leaders’ debate, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But the ratings given to the Morrison v Shorten clash in Brisbane last night by the city’s News Corp morning tabloid suggest some of those covering the event may have only one eye.

cmail debate 050519While ABC Radio News reported those in the audience gave Bill Shorten the edge, albeit not by any great margin, a couple of The Courier-Mail’s columnists thought otherwise (pictured).

Its federal political editor Renee Viellaris gave victory to the PM, maybe not wanting to risk her chances of securing some sort of gong at the next News Corp in-house awards in the category of Most Stories in a Row Praising a Liberal Party Leader.

Then there was Des Houghton. Well, what can we say about Des? Perhaps the kindest excuse for a verdict so far out of line with his Courier peers was that he wrote it before the debate even aired.

The verdicts of others – national affairs editor Dennis Atkins, senior writer Frances Whiting, and Sky News host Peter Gleeson – were more broadly in line with the audience’s view.

A talking point in the debate across all media was the PM’s confrontational — some may say, threatening — behaviour in looming close to his opponent.

Of course, as we have all come to expect, The Courier-Mail’s front page didn’t miss the opportunity to do its best to make Shorten look like the wrongdoer (main picture).


Speaking of looming, another issue that is likely to loom large in the minds of some voters on 18 May is the future of Adani’s proposed export coal mine project in Central Queensland.

It has the potential to both win and lose votes for the bigger parties in different parts of the nation.

mineheadline cmail 050519One sticking point is the ongoing saga of mine approvals, especially those related to the endangered black throated finch that the Palaszczuk state government is apparently very concerned about.

While the arguments about the bird rage on the hustings we at The Bug were somewhat tickled by the headline on The Courier-Mail’s story in today’s edition (pictured).


Federal Member for Bennelong John Alexander is refusing to step aside from the 2019 federal campaign after video surfaced on social media platforms showing him failing to display new balls as required by the game’s international etiquette rules to his opponent Ilie Nastase when he won the Tuscon hardcourt event in March 1975.

“That was a long time ago and I’m no longer the brash, ruthless, win-at-all-costs, money-hungry sportsman I was back then,” Alexander said while out campaigning in his north Sydney seat.

“Lucky for me they didn’t have footage of the tournament dinner that night when I told a whole heap of rape and racist jokes and pretended to dry-root Ilie while taking a swipe at shirtlifters,” he added.


As a sign perhaps of the tight tussle he faces to hold his Sydney harbourside seat of Warringah, Tony Abbott admitted overnight that he now regretted his decision to offer an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh while prime minister in 2015.

In a second debate with independent challenger Zali Steggall, Mr Abbott said: “Aah…aah… aah I think a far …aah …aah…aah… better choice would have aah.. aah….aah.. been David Flint.”


Small business minister Michaela Cash has admitted booking an appointment with a Specsavers optometrist after describing a recent campaign function as “well-attended” (pictured below).

She said the good thing about her new glasses was that she no longer walked straight past empty restaurants thinking there was absolutely no chance she could get a table.


michaela cash in empty room.jpg


The Australian Electoral Commission is now fielding regular inquiries from Channel 9 viewers asking if Chris Uhlmann could possibly be breaking election material authorisation laws by not finishing his nightly federal campaign reports with “Spoken Chris Uhlmann for the Liberal Party of Australia“.